Power systems age and therefore require modernization for improved efficiency, which is why predictive maintenance is a key part of electric utility asset management.
Electric utilities can better provide safe, reliable and affordable power for consumers by embracing predictive maintenance, which involves continuous monitoring of asset performance through supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), diagnostic sensors and smart meters.
Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, involves routinely assessing components that have historically been known to fail at a particular time. One drawback of this approach is that it can take assets out of service for longer periods than planned.
7 benefits of predictive maintenance for electric utility asset management
- Receive early warnings. Predictive maintenance uses real-time data to address a failure before it happens, leading to greater efficiency.
- Make informed decisions. With these early warnings, operators can make responsible decisions on how to best correct a problem regarding utility systems.
- Extend asset lifecycles. Poorly maintained assets are subject to severe wear and tear, shortening their lifespan. Skip unnecessary equipment replacement with a predictive approach.
- Lower costs. It’s usually cheaper to make repairs to equipment before it fails. Failed equipment leads to costly unplanned outages.
- Avoid unplanned downtime. Consumers want to know about outages in advance, which is one of the many reasons why unplanned outages are a problem. Predictive maintenance helps utilities avoid outages. Analytics can help identify problems days, weeks or months in advance.
- Capture institutional knowledge. Many utilities are watching an aging workforce retire. Knowledge capture capabilities through predictive maintenance help ensure that maintenance decisions and processes are repeatable. When experienced personnel leave, their insights are essentially inherited by the remaining staff.
- Become safety compliant. Predictive maintenance helps utilities better mitigate safety risks.